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Roman Numerals
What are Roman Numerals?
Roman Numerals are used to express numbers using capital letters. Here are the 7 letters used.
  • I-1
  • V-5
  • X-10
  • L-50
  • C-100
  • D-500
  • M-1000
How do Roman Numerals Work?
*Values greater than or equal to the number to there right are simply added on.
III=(1)+(1)+(1) IX=(10)+(1)+(1)

Note: It is never necessary to place more than 3 identical capital letter next to one another. When writing Roman Numerals, it is possible to write 4 as IIII. However, because there are 4 identical capital letters, it is both easier and more appropriate to write 4 as IV. Here is how it works.

*Values smaller than the number to there right are subtracted from that (larger) number.
IV=(5)-(1) IX=(10)-(1)

IV includes the Roman numeral symbols of (1) and (5). However, because there is an I before the V it is subtracted. 5-1=4. Likewise with IX, an I (1) is to the left of the X (10), therefore it is subtracted to equal 9.

Roman Numerals 1-10:

I II III IV VI VII VIII IX X

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Last Update: 12/4/2004

Dan Cook
© 2004 DEC Stuff